Monday, November 1, 2010

buying nintendo DS

It has been a while since I last posted, but yeah, not like anyone reads this anyway. =p

In September, I bought a nintendo DS lite. A grey one, USA version, which means that I can't put the start screen interface in Dutch (but no worries, I can still play Dutch/European games) and I need a European adaptor with it, but the seller was kind enough to include that.

Just look at it, so beautiful. Grey is the best colour DS colour, imo. It looks a bit more special than the white one, and doesn't get covered in smudges like the black one. And yeah, colours like pink, green etc are just too flashy for me.

Then I started looking around the internet for a place where I could buy a R4 card and microSD, preferably super cheap, since I hate spending too much money. After extensive research, because there are too many different kinds of R4 cards, I decided to order a R4 SDHC card of R4 SDHC cards only work with the ds and ds lite. The people behind this website make other cards as well, like R4i cards that work with the dsi andR4i rts cards that support real time saving. Real time saving might've been nice, but I didn't feel like spending extra money on that.

The website that I decided to order from was I read some bad reviews about it, apparently their customer service is really crap and they don't want to refund if an item gets lost during shipping. But meh whatever, $5.80 for the R4 card and $11 for a 4gb microSD card, they're cheap enough to risk it. So I placed my order for a R4 SDHC card and a 4gb microSD card on tuesday 07/09, the order was processed on thursday 09/09, left Hongkong for its destination on tuesday 14/09 and arrived at my house on friday 17/09. 11 days between placing my order and receiving it, not that bad.

Now for the products. They did have a cheap feel, but really, that's to be expected for that price. The miroSD card looked very fake, definitely not a real SanDisc. But everything worked as it should, so I have no complains. Would buy again.

Friday, August 6, 2010

5/10 - look what i saw at work today

It's a penguin!

This note in the cafeteria is just weird. The English is so crappy that I don't even know what the hell they're trying to say.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

life lesson #3

This one might sound depressing, but..

The majority of life consists of just existing, and doing what you're expected to do.

And once you accept that, it's actually not that bad. You just have to find a way of life that you can learn to enjoy, something that's worth working for. A cage that you have built for yourself, instead of one that others force upon you. Maybe that cage won't feel like prison at all.


Months ago, I signed a contract with my university. In this contract, I traded 8 hours and 36 min of my day in exchange for getting 7 hours and 21 min paid. We don't get paid for breaks, but we are forced to take them. Kinda sucks.
The contract lasts for 10 days in 2 weeks. A few hours ago, I finished day 4. I am doing what they call "maintenance" of the university, more specifically, this means that I'll be cleaning offices in the biomedical research facility.

After the initial horror of my first day at work (I'm really not used to working, I'm a lazy bum), I learned to enjoy my job a little. The offices that I'm now giving their big annual cleaning belong to professors that teach classes to me. I now know which of my profs is messy enough to keep the floor of his office filled with unpacked carton moving boxes. He also leaves coffee stained tissues on his desk; a desk that is by the way filled with big heaps of papers, some ancient enough to be printed in 2004. I discovered that the one cranky looking prof suffers from significant hairloss; she also collects wooden insects and owns an old record player. It's also intriguing how, although they all have the same basic layout, all offices are a bit different: some profs have two desks, some have a big table for meetings, some have more closets. Just looking at these things gives you an idea of how the person works, and what their priorities are. The neatest looking office of them all (I couldn't even find any papers lying around) turned out to belong to a person that let their plants quietly wither away. They were right there on the window-sill, dying.

Ok fine, cleaning offices is really boring and I'm so glad that I'm only doing it for 10 days. I can't even imagine the sadness of having to do this kind of work for the rest of your life. But I'm starting to learn how to find enjoyment in the little things, and get a understanding of how manual labour can be fulfilling in its own way. I know that I'll regret saying that tomorow morning, when I dread going to work and wishing that I could just go sleep again.

But you know's nice to observe my possible future workplace from the viewpoint of a humble cleaning lady. Maybe I'll even get to see a lab. Maybe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

life lesson #2

You all know the age old problem: you come home from a long day of work and want to go make dinner. Your sleepy feet drag you to the kitchen, where you open the gas and light the cooking plate. You take a pan to bake the cute little meatballs that you prepared on beforehand. When finished, you put them aside so you can start with the delicious cherry sauce. (you have to cook things separately because you can only use one of the four cooking plates in your kitchen. yeah, your kitchen sucks that much.) The ingredients for this cherry sauce happen to be in a jar. You can't open the jar. Mission failed. Aborting plan to eat dinner tonight.

The stuck jar, it's a problem that every woman living alone will face. It's nature's way of telling a woman that it's time to get herself a man. Now there are two possible solutions to this problem. 1) Find a man to open these damn jars for you, or 2) Find a way to cheat life and open them yourself.

Since I am all alone here and don't have access to men, I had to take the second option. I tried everything: using a dry towel, bottle opener... Ok, that's about all I tried before I started stabbing the thing with a knife. And you know what, it worked. As if accepting defeat, the lid budged and granted me access to the delicious cherries inside. Awesome. Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

So my life lesson for today:
Stab it with a knife. It's the easy solution to every problem in life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


While cleaning up some stuff yesterday, I found this. A little heart shaped stone that someone gave me a long time ago.

We also discovered a silver clam box that was hidden in the clutter of my sister's closet. She let me have it.

Things like this make me sad...

Artificial virginity hymen. From the product site:
No more worry about losing your virginity. With this product, you can have your first night back anytime. Insert this artificial hymen into your vagina carefully. It will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrate, it will ooze out a liquid that look like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans, you will pass through undetectable. Its easy to use, clinically proven non-toxic to human and has no side effects, no pain to use and no allergic reaction.
Seriously people, anyone that buys this deserves to die. Don't go have sex if you're not ready to face the consequences. I'm not saying that everyone should stay a virgin until marriage, it's a personal choice. A choice that shouldn't be forced upon people by their family or religion. Because I'm guessing that this product gets bought mostly by muslim girls that aren't virgins when they get married and want to avoid being stigmatized. But yeah, faking things like this is just wrong on so many levels.

Also, hymen virginity. Anyone knows that the hymen can break in other ways as well, and this doesn't make a girl any less of a virgin. Losing your virginity is an emotional thing, not something physical. People that don't understand that...make me sad.

Ah well. If any girls wants to fake their virginity, you could buy the product here. But please kill yourself after use.

the hand

meh. I don't even like these ones.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

command&conquer 3: tiberium wars

After buying the game in uh january, I finally started playing command&conquer 3 a week ago. I postphoned playing it for various reasons, the main reason being that I didn't think that I'd like it, and I can't be bothered doing effort during the schoolyear. Lol that sounds bad, like playing a game is so horrible that I have to do effort for it.

Anyway since it's vacation now, I didn't have an excuse anymore and started playing the campagin. It was way nicer than I expected. The videos between the missions had real actors, it made me feel like I was in a movie. The missions were fun, and because the game is so fast paced, I didn't even get a chance to get bored. I finished most of the GDI campaign now, and did part of the Nod one. This is probably the most that I've ever played a campaign, so congrats c&c, you made me like a campaign.
Most of the missions in the campaign consist of the same routine: collecting tiberium and building a base with the funds that it gives you, all while the enemy attacks you. Then you build up your army and take out the enemy base. In the other missions, you just get a few units that you have to complete objectives with.

Tiberium is a powerful mineral that spreads rapidly across the globe and is toxic to carbon based lifeforms. Despite it's negative effect on human life, tiberium is a very useful energy source.
The main objective of the GDI is to stop the spread of the toxic tiberium and destroy the terrorists of the Brotherhood of Nod. The brotherhood is a religious organisation that believes in the potential of tiberium as the catalyst of the next stage of human evolution and tries to accelerate its spread. The leader of the brotherhood is Kane, a charismatic man whose authority within the brotherhood is unquestioned.
Earth is divided in 3 areas: a red zone where tiberium has spread so much that human life is impossible, a yellow zone that's heavily contaminated with tiberium and a blue zone that's protected by the GDI and is still free from tiberium exposure. Most of the world's population lives in the yellow zones, and this is also where the brotherhood of Nod has its bases. When the brotherhood launches an attack on the GDI, the third tiberium war begins.

This game has really pretty gfx, but I only found that out after days of playing with these crappy gfx, the lowest settings possible:
The game probably decided that my cheap laptop could only handle that much. But when I changed the gfx settings, I found out that the game could actually look like this, and not lag:
A significant difference, right? Look how much nicer the tiberium looks, all glowy and stuff. And the units have shadows. I like shadows.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sand sculptures

pictures taken at the sand sculpture festival in Blankenberge (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: brotherhood

The first fullmetal alchemist anime was good, one of the better animes out there. It got me emotionally involved with its good story and likeable characters. Ed, Al, colonel mustang, the homunculi, everything seemed perfect. I was surprised to find out that the anime hadn't followed the actual manga story, or at least not towards the end. Because the manga was still in progress at the time, the anime producers just made up the entire last half of the series. Apparently, the manga story very different. It was much darker, more complex, explained things better. It even had new characters.
Sounds good, right? So I started reading the manga, in French because French manga's are cheaper than English ones. But I didn't get very far before the French started to annoy me, and I forgot about fullmetal alchemist.
This would've been the end of my fma story, but one day (probably 1.5 years ago?), I heard the glorious news. Fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood would be a complete remake of the fma series, but following the actual manga story. Yay.

The first episode of fma brotherhood was a filler about an ice alchemist. This episode was used as a introduction of the new series, and to emphasise that this would be different from the first fma. The next 15 or so episodes overlapped with the first fma series, so they went over the story pretty fast there, expecting that most people had seen the first series already. Because it was so rushed, I didn't really have time to grow to like the characters and care about what happened to them. Tragic events that had been very emotional in fma1, just didn't feel make me feel anything in brotherhood.
But after that, it got better. Much better. Once they got past the part of the manga that fma1 had already covered, they slowed down again, and things really got interesting. It was nothing like fma1, it was an entirely new story. A story that just kept getting more interesting after every episode, and kept me captivated until the epic ending.
Here are some random screenshots:

Anyway, this is truly a good anime. You should all watch it asap.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

handy s60v5 applications

Here are some s60v5 applications that I find very useful:

Time machine

A very nice timer, the most complete one that I've been able to find. You can use it as a clock, stopwatch or countdown timer. When using it as a countdown timer, an alarm will play when the time hits 0. It can't record lap times; if you want that, you could download Timer Lite Touch from the ovi store.


It's so annoying, having to lock your phone every time that you put it in your pocket. And on a touchscreen phone, you can't lock it by pressing buttons on a keypad, you have to use a lock switch. From the first day that I got my phone, I've been afraid that the lock switch would break easily because you have to use it so frequently and it seems kinda fragile. It seems like one of the weak points of a touchscreen phone.
PocketLock is very simple: it uses the proximity sensor to sense whether the phone is in a bag or pocket, and will lock the screen when this is the case. It's free to download from the ovi store.

Download in ovi store


Uses the flash of your camera as a torchlight. Very useful, I use this about every day. You can also send morse codes and use your phone screen as a torchlight (in different colours).

Download in ovi store
Download illegal version (you'll need to unsign and sign this one for it to work)


Lets you assign a button to take screenshots of your phone screen (I use the camera button). It's what I used for the screenshots in this post.

Download in ovi store


The camera normally can't take panorama photos, but no worries, you can do that with this application. It will only stitch 3 photos together though, so you can't take large panorama photos. Shame, but this program is the best that I've been able to find.
Here's an example of a panorama photo that I took with it:

Download in ovi store
Download illegal version (you'll need to sign this)


This is the best drawing application that I've been able to find. You can draw circles, rectangles, lines etc, set the transparency, change pensil dimension and chose a colour using the RGB model. There's also an option to undo the last action. You can load an image to draw on and save your drawing when you're done with it.



Way nicer than the file explorer that comes with the phone. The thing that I like most about it is that you can select multiple items at once, something that the nokia file explorer can't do.

Download (trial)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

signing s60v5 applications

I swear that every single time that I saw a game that looked totally awesome, it turned out to be unsigned and I couldn't install it on my phone. Many of my days have been wasted on trying to find a way to sign them, nothing worked. It seemed like signing applications would forever stay an impossible dream. Until finally, I found a blog about a Chinese website where you could register and download a program that signs your apps. I didn't have much hope that it would work, after all, nothing ever worked. But it did. Now I'm a happy person that can play awesome games, like spb brain evolution, marble maze and many many more.

Here is the awesome blog with instructions. Thank you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


These glasses may look very ugly, but the technology behind them makes up for it. The power of the lenses can be adapted manually, as explained on the Adlens website:
The operating principle of our patented liquid lens technology is simple. The lens is a hollow chamber with a thin, clear, strong plastic sheet stretched across inside.

The variable lens power comes from a clear, high refractive index fluid. The fluid is pumped into (or out of) the chamber between the plastic-like sheet and the lens. As the amount of oil increases, it pushes on the plastic sheet, changing its curvature. The more it curves, the more the lens power increases.

When the fluid is pumped back out, the lens curvature flattens, reducing the power. The base hard lens has a negative power, meaning that with little or no oil, objects are demagnified.

The product is aimed mainly at developing countries, but in my opinion, it could be very useful in the developed world as well. Having a kid with bad eye vision can be terribly expensive for parents. Take me, for example. When I was young, my parents had to buy me new lenses every 5 months or so. Lenses aren't cheap, and the old ones just get thrown away. Seems like a waste of money, no? With these liquid lenses, parents could just buy one pair of glasses and have them adjusted every few months. But if Adlens wants their product to reach a market outside of the poor developing countries, they will have to come up with a nicer design for their glasses. I can't imagine that any sane parent here would let their kids wear glasses that look unfasionable like this...

But this Rwandan kid looks pretty happy with it. :)

...Ok actually, it does look cool. In a crazy pilot sort of way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life lesson #1

I tried waxing today. Bad.
I don't know why, but the wax just sticked to my skin like glue and I had to scrape it off. Now I have this gross wound on my arm. The hair isn't even gone.
I even warmed up the wax with a hairdrier to make sure that it would be warm enough... Maybe it's because I didn't wash my skin before waxing. Whatever. I'm not trying this again without supervision.

((update: It's starting to scar. Oh great. Guess that this is my punishment for even thinking about waxing.))

Don't ever wax. God doesn't want you to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

poppies & wheat

So, I went looking for poppies today, and found some in a wheatfield. Such beautiful flowers, fragile and strong at the same time. If only I was more capable of capturing their beauty...

I tried to take pictures of the different stages in a poppy's life cycle:

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Another indie game, Osmos. This is a puzzle game where you play as a 'mote', a kind of orb floating in space. The goal of the game is to absorb motes smaller than you, until you are the biggest mote of them all. If you collide with a bigger mote, you will be absorbed yourself. Motes that are smaller than you will be blue and bigger ones will be red, so it's pretty easy to know which ones to avoid.

Most of the other motes are inactive and just slowly float around, but they will also gradually grow in size when they randomly collide with each other. To move your mote, you follow Newton's third law of motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, to accelerate your mote, you will need to sacrifice some of its mass. The bigger your mote get, the more you will have to sacrifice to get it to move. This adds some depth to the game: by moving your mote towards a smaller one to absorb it, you will shrink. Sometimes you will shrink so much that when you get to the smaller mote, you will actually be the smaller one and be absorbed.

A nice thing about the game is that it is possible to speed up the time. This can be very helpful when you're very big and move slowly.
Though the vast majority of the other motes are normal and don't do much, there are some special ones. Attractors will, obviously, attract other motes with its gravity. When it's big enough, other motes can float around it in orbit. Nemocytes will actively try to avoid motes bigger than themselves, so you'll have to chase them down once you're big enough to absorb them. When you collide with antimatter motes, both your sizes will shrink. And there are some other ones like that. These special kinds of motes make the game much more interesting and fun to play.
The early levels are fairly easy, but it does get a lot harder further in the game. It will take many attempts to complete the later levels, which can be quite frustrating. But it makes finally completing them all the more rewarding.

The game is called Osmos, which seems to be a combination of Osmosis and Cosmos. Actually I don't think that the game has anything to do with osmosis, which is the movement of water molecules across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration until equilibrium is reached. The fact that the fluid will go from the smaller droplet into the bigger one is because of LaPlace's pressure law. But ah well. The motes do look a bit like stars in the cosmos.

Website with free demo